Satellite imagery showed that the Egyptian army withdrew fighter planes that participated in a military parade at the border base of Sidi Barani, during which President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi issued a threat of direct military intervention in Libya.
The military parade was held Saturday at the base in the northwestern province of Matrouh, on the border with Libya, where footage broadcast on Egyptian television showed a squadron of combat aircraft.
However, the satellite imagery - which was posted by a Twitter account specialized in monitoring the movement of the aircraft - showed the disappearance of these fighter planes on Sunday from the Sidi Brani base, which was interpreted as a sign of the absence of realistic preparations for imminent military intervention.
After Egyptian president Al-Sisi returned from inspecting the troops at 🇪🇬Sidi Barrani, NW #Egypt, it looks like all aircraft from the 'show of force' were removed again 😅 https://t.co/smr6geDg9d pic.twitter. com / jMJpFMeApg
- Gerjon חריון (@Gerjon_) June 22, 2020
Sisi, during his visit to the base, inspected the combat units of the Air Force in the Western Military Region, and said that any direct Egyptian interference in Libya has international legitimacy, whether for self-defense or based on the only legitimate elected authority in Libya, which is the House of Representatives, according to his claim.
He added that Egypt's goals will be "to protect the western borders, and quickly support the restoration of security and stability on the Libyan scene, as part of the Egyptian national security, and inject the blood of the Libyan people." Sisi believed that "Sirte and Al-Jafra crossed a red line for Egypt."
On the other hand, officials of the internationally recognized Libyan National Accord government denounced al-Sisi's statements, describing them as blatant interference in their country's affairs and as a "declaration of war."
An official at the Al-Wefaq Defense Ministry confirmed that they are determined to extend their control over the entire Libyan territory.
These developments come at a time when Libya is witnessing a change in the balance of power in favor of national reconciliation, at the expense of the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by regional and international powers, most notably Egypt and the UAE.
The Al-Wefaq forces have regained the entire period of the western region and several sites, most notably the Al-Wattiyah Strategic Base and Tarhuna City, and are currently seeking to enter the city of Sirte, in the center of the country.